A portable arc-microwave hybrid plasma torch module

S. P. Kuo, M. Rubinraut, S. Popovic, Daniel Bivolaru

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Development of a plasma torch, which carries desirable features for being an ignition aide within a supersonic-combustor, is studied. The desirable features include 1) a microwave adaptor arrangement to couple additional power (from microwave as well as arc discharge) to the plasma torch; 2) an additional port for fuel injection; and 3) compact (including the power supply), portable, and light weight. The plasma jet generated by this torch is described by the cycle energy of the discharge and through imaging of its plume under various conditions, the supply air pressure and microwave (on or off) to the torch. This torch system, with its high voltage discharge, is operated in periodic (60-Hz) mode. The capacitors in the circuit of the power supply are charged at the line frequency of 60 Hz, resulting in a cyclical discharge. The cycle energy is up to 12 J. The microwave electric field has a profound effect on the arc discharge. It intensifies the emission and increases the volume of the arc loop region. It also enhances the electron temperature significantly as shown by the emission spectroscopy of the torch. The spatial distribution of the microwave electric field outside the nozzle of the torch module is not affected by the supersonic cross flow, a favorable feature for increasing the penetration depth of torch plume into the supersonic crossflow in the combustor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - 44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)1563478072, 9781563478079
StatePublished - 2006
Event44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting 2006 - Reno, NV, United States
Duration: Jan 9 2006Jan 12 2006

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - 44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting


Other44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityReno, NV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Aerospace Engineering


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